I have something to say to you.
Don’t worry, this will be brief.
I really didn’t think we’d hear from you again. I was under the impression that you were gone forever. I thought we had dismantled your body and dissolved the remains. Yet, judging by the sight of your tear stains and the lingering stench of low self-worth, that is not the case.
You’ve somehow crawled your way out of that dark, abandoned hovel where we banished your memory.
You must have been waiting for the perfect moment to reappear.
When everything seemed to be so promising and so pleasant.
When life was flowing effortlessly in our favored direction.
When we felt free to inhale and exhale with only the sweetest of breaths.
Well, I can’t say that it’s good to see you again.
But, perhaps it is.
Because now I can finally tell you what I really think of you.
Now I have an opportunity to put you in your rightful place.
You see, mistress, this is not your place.
You don’t belong here.
You don’t belong in this void in which you have wedged yourself, somewhere between approval and rejection.
You don’t belong in the pause, the haze, the in-between.
You don’t belong in the maybe, the I’m not sure, the until something better comes along.
I know it may seem like this is home. But this is not your home.
You’ve just gotten used to these paper-thin prison walls.
I know you.
I know that you willingly give your love to those who can only toss it aside. Because you are terrified of what would happen if someone actually loved you back.
I know you only get involved with men who treat you like a pitstop on their way to greater destination.
I know you blame them. But they are not culprits, monsters, or the evil manipulators you may want them to be.
You are the only one responsible for putting yourself here. You are the only one to blame.
You are not a victim to anything except your lack of self-consideration.
Life will give you more of what you give to it.
If you show disregard for that heart that beats through you and as you, life will only bring you those people who will do the same.
Because while you may pretend that everything is okay as it is, while you may project a false air of self-reliant indifference, while you may act as if you don’t care for the ones that share your bed,
I know that you are lying.
I know that you want more than what you’ve been getting.
I know that you want something genuine, something reciprocal, something real.
I know that you want to feel loved as I am loved.
It might be scary to ask for it, but I know you want it.
And now I need to tell you, since you clearly don’t believe it:
Mistress, you are lovable and you are loved.
You are no one’s second choice.
You are no one’s back up plan.
You are no one’s side gig, part-time hole, some time hearth.
You are not a convenient object of use.
You are not a casual hobby or a passing fad.
You are not a receptacle for emotions, worries or bodily fluids.
You are someone to be admired.
You are someone to be adored.
You are someone to be sure about.
All of you is desirable.
Mistress, all of you is lovable and all of you is loved.
You do not have to settle for bits of fickle attention.
You do not have to hold onto scraps of false affection.
You are deserving of an entire feast of love.
Sweet talk will coat your ears and rot your heart.
Promises mean nothing when not intended to be kept.
You can learn the difference between authentic and illusory.
You can learn to trust your instinct.
You will never again have to feel used.
You will never again have to feel needy.
You will never again have to coerce, pressure, or force someone’s commitment.
Because mistress, you are lovable and you are loved.
You are always loved by the infinite presence that created you.
Call it God, call it the Universe, call it whatever you will.
Life created you just as you are.
And it loves you just as you are.
You can feel this love whenever you want to.
It is always present and it is always yours.
You are connected to all of life.
When you have love for yourself, you have love for all of life.
And when you love all of life, it will love you right back.
In a way you always hoped you’d be loved.
In a way you never before have allowed yourself to be.
Remember and live this truth.
Life will always match you at the level of your truth.
And at some point, life will bring you another person who values you as much as you value yourself.
When you truly feel this—when you trust this like you trust your pulse—then you will find yourself in the position in which I stand
Contrary to what you may have thought, I don’t hate you. In fact, it is quite the opposite.
I only hold the highest of hopes and intentions for you.
Because I was you and I am you.
Because I love you and I love us.
With immense respect and an infinity of gratitude,
A drunk Frenchman once referred to me as Mary Magdalene. His accent was thick but his intention was clear. We were at a company Christmas party in front of a group of employees. He laughed. I didn’t. Years later I did find it funny. It seemed humorous to be called Mary Magdalene on the day that people were supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. But that was not the purpose of his joke. I know this man was insinuating that I, the only single female at the party, the one who had been used and discarded by a male coworker upon reuniting with his ex-girlfriend, was a whore. And it felt as if everyone knew it.
I was a prostitute, a slut, an unwanted, undesirable, part-time mistress.
He wasn’t completely wrong. Although I’ve never actually been the mistress, I certainly felt like one.
For years I thought that it was safer to play this role. I wore it like a badge. I thought it made me a strong woman if I didn’t get emotionally involved. It prevented me from enduring what I viewed as a lifetime of wedded monotony and dissatisfaction. It kept me free from what I believed to be guaranteed infidelity and broken trust.
And even when I changed my old views on committed relationships and marriage—even when I opened up to the truth that I wanted to experience a deeper connection—I still felt like the mistress in the majority of my relationships.
Always kept at a distance. Always playing in quiet. Always discreet.
The men got softer and kinder but the mistress stuck around—until I finally acknowledged her, accepted her and reminded her that we choose how we want to experience life.
If I want to be seen and heard, I need to see and hear myself.
If I want to be held in high regard, I need to hold myself in high regard.
If I want to be loved, I need to love myself.
All of myself—the mistress and the wife.
We all have these archetypes within us.
From my current vantage point that I can see the beauty in my former employer’s remark. Now I understand who Mary Magdalene really was—an embodiment of the Sacred Feminine. She is unconditional love, devotion, and forgiveness. She is intuition, wisdom and strength. She has been completely misunderstood and misrepresented throughout history. But I bet she wouldn’t give a sh*t what people thought of her. She’d look right through them and see their divinity. She’d love them anyway.
So thanks for the grandest of compliments, dude. I’ll gladly and proudly walk this earth with Mary as my guide.
Relephant, if you’ve dealt with infidelity:
Author: Erika Ward
Apprentice Editor: Jessica Chardoulias / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: royblumenthal at Flickr